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Streamlining Development

Streamlining the development process has been a multi-year, multi-agency priority that is in direct response to feedback from the business community. The goal is to make county services more business-friendly and make it easier to navigate the development process and obtain building permits to spur economic growth. The Department of Permitting Services and the Department of Planning are two of the primary organizations involved in this effort. Great progress has already been made in modernizing the permitting process and eliminating duplicative steps, such as the additions of ePermits and ePlans. Now two new streamlining efforts will augment the achievements the County has already made.

Summary of Progress

  • Development Ombudsman: Michael Smith was appointed to the position of Development Ombudsman in June 2015. Mike is shepherding commercial and residential development projects through the development pipelines as an important part of our community building and placemaking efforts.
  • 30-Day Building Permit Review: Last year the County committed to accomplishing 30-day initial reviews for electronically submitted plans by the beginning of October.  The Dept. of Permitting Services reached this goal 3 months ahead of schedule (in July) and is exceeding expectations. With approximately 30% of projects coming in as electronic plans, DPS currently averages 19 days to complete initial reviews for both electronic and paper plans combined.

30-Day Building Permit Review

The Department of Permitting Services (DPS) committed to completing its initial review and comment on properly prepared and electronically submitted commercial building plans within 30 calendar days and is now averaging reviews of 19 days for both electronic and paper plans, combined. DPS acheived this goal three months ahead of schedule. This was made possible through the County’s investment in ePlans, which allows for concurrent reviews, and additional staff to assist with plan processing. To help facilitate this process, DPS encourages applicants to take advantage of the free design consultation services prior to submission. Please contact Hadi Mansouri, Division Chief, Building Construction Division of the Department of Permitting Services at Hadi.Mansouri@montgomerycountymd.gov for more information.

Development Ombudsman

The Development Ombudsman is a new position created to facilitate commercial and residential development projects through problem-solving and improved communication. The position shepherds high-priority projects through the development process, as well as identifies systemic challenges in regulatory procedures and facilitate changes that bring about tangible improvements that save time and cost. Please contact Ramona Bell-Pearson, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, at Ramona.Bell-Pearson@montgomerycountymd.gov for more information.

 

 

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